History's End

History will end only when Man does

Location: United States
Blogroll Me!
  • E-Mail me
  • Sunday, October 31, 2004

    Is Bin Laden on Michael Moore's Speed Dial?

    Bin Laden Threatens US States not to vote for Bush


    Predictions for Tuesday

    I have proven in the past to be so bad at predicting the future that I have decided to not even try at guessing the outcome on Election Day.


    Saturday, October 30, 2004

    Ossama's Truce Offer?

    I forget to link to Wretchards excellent analysis of the Bin Laden video. Its a must read. However, I have to ask, to whom is the message really addressed? More thoughts later...


    Down to the Wire

    With October nearly over, it is likely we will see few major surprises head our way. I am sure that the media supporting Kerry will attempt to do something, anything, on Monday to de-rail the President's campaign. However, I suspect that it will be relatively ineffective. People are expecting it, and that will mean the "surprise" element will be lost beforehand. Its now a waiting game.


    Not What They Expected...

    Somone came to History's End using a yahoo search for "George Bush Loser." They ended up here. Something tells me that this isn't exactly what they were looking for...


    Friday, October 29, 2004

    Rumors of my Demise...

    ...have been greatly exagerated. Or so it seems, where I to be speaking for him. If Bin Laden is in fact, alive, then it raises a lot of interesting questions. Where has he been? What was he doing? And what are his plans now?

    Edit: I suspect he has been laying low for a while, perhaps because of injury, and now might try to regain the attention of the world . Since I am not well versed in his personality, I leave it to others to try and answer "why now."

    Edit 2: Why did Bin Laden admit to 9/11? He has never done that before, why now? Why period? What does he hope to gain from it. It always used to be a lie of the facists that he wasn't responible, but rather the US and/or Israel. Why blow that away?


    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    We'll Always Have Paris...

    ...or so it may seem. But CNN tells us that it may not to be. I saw the Fox News piece first, and instinctively said a word inappropriate for a blog for all ages. If that was true, then he is alive for sure, and has a chance for some kind of recovery. But then CNN tells me us that
    Ailing Yasser Arafat refusing doctors' recommendation that he go to Paris for treatment...
    This almost certainly means that he is dead or in a coma. Except, of course, for this picture, released by the Palestinian Authority. It isn't really absolute proof to know he is alive. Indeed, the fact that it was released by them, and that they are holding Arafat up may show him to actually be the puppet for once. However, it certainly does make it more likely he still has a heartbeat. Brain activity is another matter. If he really is a "puppet", they are covering his death up, at least for the time being, this story is setting up a report later of how Arafat died because of his refusal to fly to Paris. Perhaps the Palestinians will use it as another attempt to blame Israel. In other news, the Pope is found to be Catholic.

    Edit: With the French sending a plane, I think its safe to assume he is still alive. It looks now like he was on the verge of dying earlier, and the Pali leaders started preparing for this eventual death. Once he stabilized they had to furiously backpedal. It now appears he may be a vegetable, or near enough like it that he won't be regaining power soon, if ever. Perhaps a slow lingering death is to be his fate, and I can't really help myself from saying that he deserves it.


    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    October Surprise?

    If this is true, I can't help but think that this is indeed the October Surprise. Time will tell about its accuracy, but the fact that this wasn't "off the record" makes me think that its true...


    Yasser Arafat's Time to Bake...

    ...appears to have come, or will come soon. I think he is burning in Hell myself. Roger has done a good job covering this, as has Charles. Personally, there were several parts that convinced me, but one stood above the rest:
    Asked why Arafat was not being moved to a hospital, Barghouti said, "there is no difference, he is receiving adequate medical attention here with very good doctors."
    There is no diference between Arafat's compound and a hospital if he is dead. Neither will help him at this point. The fact that Arafat hasn't done anything to re-assert his authority is also convincing. The actions of Palestinian Leaders reek to me of desperate planning for their futures. The moderates are trying to secure themselves, while no doubt Hamas and Dahlan are preparing themselves for a leadership struggle ahead.

    Edit: How this will play out is anyone's guess at this point. I suppose it depends on how quickly news of Arafat's death leaks out into the general populace.


    Tuesday, October 26, 2004

    A Microscopic Application of Burnett's Core/Gap Thesis in Iraq-Part 3

    Sorry about the massive delay in writing this, somehow I forgot that I only wrote part 2 and then stopped. Here is the finale in this series.

    In part 1 I explained the concepts behind the Core and the Gap. In part 2 I explained how Iraq played a role in the United States' effort to reduce the Gap. In part three I will explain how you can apply the Core/Gap thesis inside Iraq in order to bring Iraq into the 21st Century.

    Iraq, as a whole, is part of the Gap. That I have already touched upon. But to apply this thesis to Iraq as a microcosm requires some re-working of the terms involved. The terms Core and Gap are somewhat misleading, in that they direct the reader to assume a nation is either one or the other. This is not the case, being part of the Core or Gap isn't discrete, rather, a nation is part of a spectrum with absolute Gap on the one end and absolute Core on the other. As one way of helping make these concepts easier to understand I propose creating a new parameters, breaking up the Gap into three seperate components. They are:

    Phase 1: This nation is completely in the Gap. It lacks stability, infrastructure and connectivity. There is little or no order, and because of this the infrastructure is suffering. The lack of infrastructure hinders connectivity. Phase 1 nations can be found in Africa, in failed states like are experiencing civil wars for example. Somalia is one nation that would qualify as phase 1.

    Phase 2: This nation is mostly in the gap. It has stability, provided by a government. This government might be democratic in nature, but is more often despotic, often harshly so. Infrastructure is lacking, and little or no connectivity to the rest of the world exists. Such states can be found in Africa, Asia and Central/South America. North Korea is the poster child of Phase 2 stats. It has an oppressive government which maintains a large military, ensuring order, but there is essentially no infrastructure in the country outside of the capital.

    Phase 3: This nation type possess both stability and (at the very least) infrastracture. Its government, sometimes democratic, sometimes despotic, ensures that there is sufficient stability for basic infrastructure (water, some electricity, medical services) to be built and maintained. However, connectivity is limited, meaning there is relatively little internet access, phone access, TV access to the rest of the world. Also, travel to and from other nations is relatively limited. Oftentimes the media, if existent, is a branch of the government, and used for propoganda, and not supporting the free flow of information. China is a good example of a Phase 3 states, although parts of the outlying provinces might be closer to phase 2.

    Phase 4: Phase 4 states are Core states, that is, states with stability, infrastructure and the free flow of ideas. They are almost always democratic( possible exception of Singapore, but that is a city-state). South Korea is a good example of a Phase 4 state.

    Essentially, there is a pattern here leading from phase 1 to phase 4. You need one thing to get to the next. Stability is the first step on becoming a member of the Core. Without it you can never build the infrastructure that makes connectivity possible. Once you have that, a state needs infrastracture to get closer to becoming a Core state. Infrastucture is necessary for connectivity to exist. And as Barnett has explained, connectivity is the key factor in a nation being part of the Core. The free and common flow of information is necessary for a society to build up a resistance to the temptations of terrorists. I believe, as does Thomas Barnett, that these distinctions between states can be applied to the intra-national level as well. To provinces, cities, even neighborhoods.

    Iraq right now is fluctuating between a phase 1 and phase 2 status. The US is trying its hardest to bring the stability needed to really start up on infrastructure. As attacks on oil pipelines and contractors has shown, without stability you can't work on infrastructure. However, such attacks don't occur everywhere in Iraq. Wretchard at the Belmont Club has done at excellent job of analyzing attacks in Iraq and correlating them to geographic regions. As he has pointed out, certain regions are more dangerous than others. These parts of Iraq, like the Sunni Triangle, can be considered Phase 1 provinces. They lack stability, and thus the key goal for the US right now is to bring stability there. The provinces where there are few, if any attacks, can be considered phase 2 provinces.

    Baghdad is an interesting place. The Green zone can probably be considered phase 3, as it is both generally stable and has basic infrastracture. Parts of Baghdad are also phase 3, although most will be more along the lines of phase 2. There is an exception, Sadr City, a Shia inner city type slum which is currently at phase 1. The US efforts in that neighborhood have been an attempt to bring it to phase 2 status. So one can see that the key right now in Iraq is security and stability. Where there is stability infrastructure is being built and re-built. Under Saddam Iraq Iraq was mostly a lower phase 3 state, with certain loyal regions at a higher phase 3 status. However, under his leadership what infrastucture there was deteriorated, and he had essentially been running the country under the ground. Given enough time Iraq would have eventually become a full phase 2 state, and then eventually, when there was a leadership crisis (Saddam's death, or perhaps a fued later if one of his sons took power) that would have caused Iraq to revert to phase 1 status. What this would have done to the region can only be described as catastophic.

    The US, in order to succeed in Iraq, needs to identify the status of each part of the country, down to the city level. Phase 1 regions need to be pacified, and order established. Then, start working on infrastructure there. Places that were already secured need to have infrastructure get worked on right away. This is currently being done. However, the important thing is what happens when areas start to really become phase 3 status. Once there the US and its allies need to do their best to build up connectivity. This should include supporting internet cafes and helping establish lots of internet hubs. Help fund start up ISPs, help support indepedent, non-state owned media in the country. Local radio and TV stations. Then national stations that help connect Iraqis to each other and build up a common civic culture. Eventually, in order to influence the region as a whole, help establish networks and stations that cater to the region as a whole, helping spread connectivity to other parts of the Middle East. This will help create a national mood, a sense of unity in Iraq that transcends religous, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

    Fund universities, building up campuses and faculty. Baghdad once used to be the most cultured and educated city in the region. Help make it so again. Make Baghdad University the envy of the region. Create conditions so that every Middle Eastern professor and academic worth his or her salt wants to land a job there. Help establish a center of academic free thought, a place where intellectuals can freely discuss ideas, ideas that will help transform the region. Help fight Islamit propoganda and create an alternative to the Wahhabis. Help establish Iraq as the cultural and academic center of the Middle East. Eventually, with enough support, help it become a major center for education in the world, not just the region.

    The list goes on and on. The key is to not apply a single solution for Iraq. Rather, to identify the proper solution for each part of Iraq, and to apply new methods once each region progresses up the ranks. A free and prosperous Iraq is the goal, and it can be achieved, as long as we keep at it and realize that Iraq is a nation composed of many small problems that create a single large one. Fix the small problems individually and the larger ones will be taken care of.


    Saturday, October 23, 2004

    Where Will it End?

    I am sure by now that you have all heard of the Guardian's call for someone to assassinate President Bush. This doesn't surprise me in the least, in part because the boards of the Guardian have long abounded with such talk. Gerard Vanderleun has paid special attention to such behaviour in the past, in part because he thinks it will inevitably lead to an assassination attempt on George Bush. I agree. Indeed, I have wondered at times why it hasn't happened yet. Eventually I concluded it was because people (the people, in this case, who would attempt such an action) have naturally assumed that President Bush will not be re-elected. So I surmised before that in the event of a Bush re-election there will be a serious attempt against the President's life. Perhaps more than one. The irony of this, of course, is that in striking down the President they may give him a hero status that he lacked in death. Abraham Lincoln was despised while alive by many in the US and Europe. Daily articles were written about him, and flattering they were not. Yet his assassination changed this almost immediately. A profound sense of shame, I suspect, was the reason for it. However, in this day and age, do those same detractors have any shame? I don't think so. But the average American might. Let us hope we don't find out.


    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    The Kerry-Heinz Ticket

    Gerard Vanderleun at American Digest has correctly diagnosed the problem with the Democratic Party today: extreme nihilism, which he calls nostalgie pour la défaite. Go read it now.


    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Assymetrical Civil War

    The term, as far as I know, was coined by NeoConned over at LGF. I can think of no better description for the plan of action that the Democrats intend to carry out during and after the election. Lawsuits instead of Bullets. That emphasizes the Democrats strengths. They know they can't win a shooting war, so instead they opt to make the battlefield the courtrooms, where they hold the advantage. However, there is a problem with this approach. Last time, the Dems might have gotten away with it with Gore, because it was a single state, it was so close, and Gore won the popular vote. And there wasn't a war. Everthing is different know. Kerry is hated more than Gore, and is respected less. The stakes are far higher than they were in 2000. Many on the right were disgusted by the Democrats actions in 2000. They viewed such actions as an attempt to steal the election. If the Democrats try the same thing in 2004, to a larger scale, they will cause a firestorm that might not be able to be contained. When Americans think that their vote's don't matter, that in fact the election has been taken from them, they will be pissed. So the Democrats better be careful about "stealing the election" come November 2nd. It just might not be allowed to come to pass.


    The Global Test

    ...this hold music has a certain 'je ne sais qoui'...


    Sox Win

    Name says it all. New York played pitifully, and deserved to lose. That being said, I would find it appropriate if the Astros defeated the Cardinal and met the Sox for the World Series. Texas vs. Massachussettes would be somehow... appropriate for the situation. It will be interesting to see how that outcome matches that of the election.


    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    The Redemption of George W. Bush

    A short photo animation has been going around the internet, accompied to the tune of Johnny Cash's When the Man Comes Around. This animation is eirely appropriate, and seems to match the situation in full. It just seems appropriate. Why? Let us look at what Dean Esmay said of President Bush:

    I have a flawed and imperfect hero.

    He's often a mess, and anyone who looks at him knows that at times he is an embarassment. Why can't he be more glib?

    Dean here makes a mistake that is common to mankind, and shouldn't be held against him. He thinks "it" is all about him. When he talks of embarassment, what he really means is that Bush embarasses him at times. When Dean talks of glibness, he refers to the fact that Bush frustrates him because locution isn't one of his skills. In a way its all about Dean. But is that truly the case? Might it in fact be the exact opposite?

    Perhaps it is all about George W. Bush. George W. Bush the frat boy, George W. Bush the alcoholic, George W. Bush the perrenial loser. Most of George W. Bush's life was a waste. His college scores, his DUI, all those mistakes show this. The sole exception, ironically, is his national guard service. That service which the Democrats attacked to such an extent they were willing to rely on falsified documents. It appears that there, of all places, that Geroge W. Bush found a place where he fit in. It was as a pilot, a place where he made decisions that would determine if he, and sometimes others, would live or die, that is where he seemed become something more. The challenge seemed to give him a drive which he otherwise lacked. George W. Bush became another person when he flew, his spirit finally seemed to be at piece. After leaving the guard he reverted to his former self. Why? There was no challenge. Some people only live truly as themselves when they are challenged. George W. Bush is one such person. He was lost, and could not be found, by others. He stayed lost for many years. Until he found himself. He would say that he merely found G-d, but it is not so simple as that. In Christianity, true Christianity, (as compared to the watered down versions you will find among liberal churches and in Europe) George W. Bush found a challenge that he had been lacking since his national guard service. I say true Christianity because true Christianity is the greatest challenge a man or woman will find in this life. The demands are greater than you will find of any secular source, and the rewards are ethereal. "The path less traveled" wasn't just a figure of speech. Its truly the ultimate challenge. And this challenge is the reason why George W. Bush is a different man than he was twenty years ago. He found within himself what others have called "the spark of the divine." His outlook towards the world changed, and he became more willing to accept authority, to seek challenges. He ran for governor of Texas, and won. He was reelected. He ran for President, and was elected, though barely.

    Then came 9/11. Suddenly, years, decades of fog lifted before the eyes of George W. Bush. The uncertainty of his place in the world was gone immediately. Now he had a job to do, he had his own personal mission in life. When he realized that lack of democracy was the reason for the terrorism problem, he knew what he had to do: Bring democracy to every corner of the world. His religious beliefs told him to spread the Gospel to all corners of the world. To George W. Bush, there is no difference between those two commands. George W. Bush faces the challenge of a lifetime, the challenge of many lifetimes. In order to do what he knows is right, he must make hard decisions. He must send people to their deaths. He will divide the country. He will face ridicule, hatred, threats against his life. Failure will be heaped upon him, while success go unrecognized.

    The Tempter comes for us all. With what does he tempt George W. Bush? Mediocrity. Bush is offered what Kerry is advocating, a return to normality, a return to the status quo. Bush didn't have to go after Iraq. He could have stopped after freeing Afghanistan. He could have left it at that, and this election would likely be going very well for him. The mission of spreading democracy could have been abandonned, left for another. Yet in his heart, this is not right, and Bush knows it. Everything worth doing is always hard, will always try your patience and your will. The aftermath of 9/11 is George W. Bush's test. His chance to prove himself worthy, to himself, and to his G-d. To atone for all of his past actions, to demonstrate that he has borne up the cross and followed the narrow path.

    We Humans are creatures of hubris. We automatically assumed that the War on Terror was a war against Islamic Radicals. And thats all. Yet it might be about something else, something completely different, and yet inextricably linked to our perceptions.

    All of this might be merely the chance for George W. Bush to achieve Redemption, and to save his soul.


    Sunday, October 17, 2004


    I am working on my blogroll now. Should be done sometime soon.

    Ok, I think that they are done now. Time to apologize beforehand: Sorry about that...

    That done with, who did I forget to link to?


    Saturday, October 16, 2004

    Polling Trends...

    Steven Den Beste is back, in a way, and leaves us with a very good post.

    Polling Info

    The trends in this are interesting. Now I trust SBD's math skills far more than mine, so I will use his data on the emerging trends. It ends up with this:

    Bush: [47.75, 48.5]

    Kerry: [45.5, 46.75]

    So, SBD provides an analysis of what the vote should be on November 2nd if you exclude 3rd party votes and undecideds. Using the bottom bracket data for both (to include the maximum number of undecided) we end up with 7% undecided and 3rd party voters. Now, I am going to pick a number out of my hat here, but I figure we will get 2-3% 3rd party votes. Lets cut it in half, and we get 2.5%. That percentage goes to all the various other candidates. Its perhaps a bit light. So round up to 3. This leaves us with 4% 2party undecided. Assuming they all vote, they could go for either candidate. But traditionally the candidate who is running against the incumbent does better among undecided voters. So lets do a 66% split to Kerry, 33% to Bush. This gives Kerry 2.666666 more percentage points, to give him 48.166, rounded to 48.2% Bush gains 1.3333 percentage points more, to give him about 49% of the vote. The Democrats must realize this. They would have to get nearly every undecided voter out there just to tie with the president on the national percentage. And now throw in the data showing most undecided voters are trending towards Bush, and you have a problem for the Democrats. A serious problem. The Democrats know that they aren't going to win the popular vote. So even if Kerry wins the electoral college, he will end up with a reverse 2000, Democrats winning the electoral college and losing the popular vote.

    If you use Electoral-Vote as a guidline for the electoral college map, then it doesn't appear good for Kerry there either. Nevada and New Mexico look to switch sides, which leave us as before. The only 2 states that look to possibly leave the Bush camp are Florida and New Hampshire. Virgiania, Arkansas and Missouri are close, but Kerry hasn't been putting time and money into those states to indicate that the Democrats think they can win them. New Hampshire isn't the big one, Florida is. But Bush is ahead in Wisconsin now, a blue state from 2000. He is close in Minnesota and Iowa. Those three states will compensate for the loss of Florida if it should go Kerry. And he is close in Pennsylvannia and New Jersey. All Bush has to do is keep Florida, and not lose both Arkansas and Missouri, and he wins. Kerry has to keep all of his states (including Wisconsin in which he is currently losing) and pick up either Missouri or Arkansas, or get Florida and not lose more than the 27 he would pick up. Bush meanwhile can make up for Florida's loss by taking Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey or Pennsylvannia. There is a good change he will take at least one of those, and if he takes two Kerry is effectively doomed. So you have a very scary picture for the Democrats. The Democrats have to win Florida, and they know it. And Florida's legislature and executive branch are controlled by the GOP. So you have a very scary picture for the Democrats.

    Wonder now why the Democrats are willing to use election fraud?

    Update: The more I look at this, the more fascinated I get. If Kerry wins in Florida, but loses Iowa and New Hampshire, then it will be Bush with 268 electoral votes and Kerry with 270. As close as you can get. Imagine a close election in any state the Democrats won. Do you think the GOP won't challenge it? The same runs true for the Dems. This is almost certainly going to be a contested election.

    Update 2: While it is possible that Kerry might contest one or two close states if their reversals give him the win, I don't think he will do so if it requires more than that. It would simply look too much like stealing the election. And it would open him up for the GOP to sue in states that barely went to Kerry. And if Bush wins the popular vote, which trends show him to do, then he won't have the same kind of backing that Gore did in 2000. Which is why you can expect the Democrats to make sure that the dead, imprisoned, and multiple-personalitied vote.

    Update 3: Electoral-Vote now has Wisconsin back to Kerry, with a 1% lead. That much of a shift (Bush was ahead 4% last poll If I remember right) indicates there are some polling problems there. I think that it would be best to consider it tied at the moment, barring new polls.


    Friday, October 15, 2004

    Template Changes

    I have used the current Template for a while now, and it really isn't pleasing me. It appears a bit too drab and dreary, and is harsh to the eyes. I will be playing around with various templates, and would appreciate comments on which you like. If my links should go dead, don't worry, I will get them back up and running soon enough.

    Update 1: Experiencing some trouble here. I have tried to change my template, but to no effect. It keeps reverting back to the current one, even though template preview shows my template to be different.

    Update 2: I am wondering if Haloscan or SiteMeter are causing the problems...

    Update 3: Finally got it working. Let me get comments working so you can voice your thoughts.


    Bad New from Iraq concerning the US Military

    Soldiers refuse to go on mission

    This isn't a good sign, assuming that the article is accurate and that important information isn't ommitted. After reading this, I note that the soldiers refused to go on the supply run because they thought they couldn't do it with their equipment, not that they wouldn't do it period. I suspect that someone at the logistics end of things has screwed up, and to play CYA tried to get these guys to do a suicide run. Hopefully they nail whomever ordered them to do such a mission. Assuming, of course, that the situation I outlined bears any ressemblance to the truth.


    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    If Bush wins...

    ... I suspect that many on the Left will be unhappy. The question is, how unhappy? Will they settle for some massive protests, with perhaps a minor riot or two? Or will they simply not accept a second Bush term? I don't think I can predict this, not yet, anyways. Its too early. Most on the Left have still convinced themselves Bush will not win. But as election day comes closer, doubts will start to set in, and that is when we will be able to start gauging how they may react. I hope that the shock of this will cause them to lose focus, and stall any actions they may take. And perhaps we won't have to worry about it, with Kerry winning. Still, now is the time to start getting prepared.

    P.S. One thing that makes me feel more secure are the candidates for causing trouble. Who are they? College Professors? College Students? Sophisticates in NY and LA? I feel a lot better when I stop and think about it. Things could be a lot worse.

    P.P.S. Just thought of something. It this does somehow turn about to be something significant, will China use the opportunity to invade Taiwan? I have to believe they would know an opportunity like this would come once in a lifetime, so I wonder if they would throw away a golden opportunity to deal with Taiwan while America is busy with its own problems.


    Election Fraud

    Well, I am sure that everyone has heard about Drudge's report on the Democrats preparing to allege voter intimidation where non exists. We have known for a while now that the Democrats will commit voter fraud, and there have been rumors that the GOP might have done this as well. However, if those rumors are true the instances of this seem to be far less commonplace. And as far as we know, the GOP has no plans to commit the kind of voter intimidation and media stunts as the Democrats. Or do they? Will the GOP leave the dirty tricks to the Dems, or will they see turnabout as fair play? Will Rove try and prevent such actions, in order to stake the moral highground? Or will he determine that said highground can never be attained, and do his best to blunt Democratic efforts to turn the election? I am uncertain of this. A lot of its depends on the President, and something tells me he would rather take the moral option. I suspect that this election, unless it is a blowout, will indeed head to the courts to be settled, again. And if Bush wins, well, the consequences will need to be outlined in another post.


    Wednesday, October 13, 2004


    I tend to be rather rushed in my blogging, and have less time to examine my own work than I would like. So if you note any serious typos, I would appreciate it if you comment on them. Thanks.


    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    A Microscopic Application of Burnett's Core/Gap Thesis in Iraq-Part 2

    In part 1 of this series I explained the concepts of the Core and Gap as how they were developed by Thomas Barnett. In this part of the series I will try and explain how those principles were applied to Iraq.

    The Middle East is almost completely in the Gap. The sole exception to this is the state of Israel, and one may speculate that the virulence directed against it inhabitants is exacerbated by the fact that it is far more connected to the rest of the world then the other nations in the Middle East. As part of the Gap the Middle East is home to poverty and oppresion, and thus is a fertile breeding ground for terrorists. Reason enough to shrink the Gap there. Then throw in the the fact that it is home to the Arab and Islamic cultures, and that Mecca, the center of the Islamic world, is located there. Obviously, if you want to stop Islamic terrorism, or at least, to hinder it as much as possible, you need to shrink the Gap in the Middle East. But the question is, where to begin?

    Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and is thus the spiritual center of the religion. Lackinga central clerical authority, if you want to make any serious changes to Islam it makes sense to start there. The problem is that the House of Saud is pretty precarious at the moment, and if pushed too far for reform might fall. Or it might refuse to implement said reform point blank. And what would the US do then? Invade? Iraq has generated enough hatred in the the Islamic world for the US, an invasion of Saudi Arabia would have led to a jihad, and I mean the real deal. Lets just say it would have been politically impossible, despite what some paleo-cons might think. Who next? The other gulf states are relatively small and isolated from the rest of the Middle East. Changing them would be difficult without causing some instability, and would also likely require an invasion for anything significant. This too would have been politically impossible. Kuwait was simply too small, and too much in America's pocket for it to be the target of reform. That leaves states like Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Egypt is a large Arab state, and very influential. However, the US had no pull to push reform. Invasion would have been necessary. And such an invasion would have been impossible, as the only staging grounds would have been from Israel. I don't think I need to explain why that would be bad. Jordan is a moderate state, and has been slowly reforming over time. Pushing reform, however, would have likely led to the ovethrow of the Hashemite regime, and a possible takeover by Al Qaeda sympathizers. It is centrally located, but the fact that it was a moderate regime already reforming meant it was skipped. The instability created by reform, and instability is nessary in the beginning as the old order is removed, was felt to be too great. This leaves Syria and Iraq. Sryia has an oppressive government, sponsors terrorism, and is a general thorn in our side in the region. However, we settled for Iraq because Iraq had all of this and more: Iraq was more viable politically. Hence we decided to shrink the gap in the Middle East by reforming Iraq. This required an invasion and occupation, and the effort is still underway.

    None of this is really new, but I figured I should err on the side of caution and state it anyways.

    Part 3, the part explaining how the Core and Gap concepts can be applied inside Iraq, is found at the above link.


    Germany Gets Smart

    Germany is now talking about the possibilty, however remote, of German troops going to Iraq. Link here. This is interesting in that it indicates one of two things: Either Germany is worried about France as an ally and would rather repair relations with the US, or Germany has realized that its stance towards troops was hurting Kerry, and that he could be vulnerable on this front if they didn't alter their stance on Germany sending troops. It will be interesting to see if other members of the Axis of Weasels follow suit...


    Monday, October 11, 2004

    Yet More Polls...

    There are a myriad of polls out there, all of them showing different things. The Washington Post Poll shows Bush up by six. Meanwhile, Zogby shows Kerry up by three. Who to believe? At the moment I don't know who is right or wrong, and so I am going to give up on predictions. There simply isn't enough data available to make even an educated guess.


    Weapon Handover Begins

    Sadr's goons are starting to turn in their heavy weapons, and if you don't think that this is a defeat for Sadr, you are sorely mistaken. After the pounding that his minions have been suffering for a while, Sadr realizes that only by dropping armed violence does he have any hope of retaining supporters in time for the elections. They key is to smash him hard should he in any way violate the agreement, in order to remind him of what happened before.


    Sunday, October 10, 2004

    Why John Kerry can't be a Hawk

    According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Democratic Party is destined to veer leftward, whether or not Kerry loses.

    Kerry's lack of spine almost certainly means he won't be able to resist this, and his lack of charisma means he can't charm the left into complacency. As Kerry said earlier, Carter days, here we come again...


    A Microscopic Application of Burnett's Core/Gap Thesis in Iraq

    This will be the first part of a series devoted to the subject of bringing Iraq into the Gore.

    For those of you who haven't heard of it before, the Gore/Gap thesis is method at examing the world in the 21st century, more specifically, at dividing the world into two groups: The Core, composed of inter-connected and technologically, ecomonically, socially advanced state, and The Gap, composed of isolated, primitive or failed states which lack the traits of those states in the Core. This concept was created by academic/analyst Thomas Barnett, who has written a book on the subject: The Pentagons New Map. He also has a weblog, which can be found here.

    The Core and The Gap provide us a way of examining crisis and conflict in the 21st century. The problem, according to Barnett, is that most of the conflict in the 21st century is going to rise in the Gap. In the Gap we find poverty, ignorance, tribal conflict, massive famine and pestilence, repression and tyranny. Almost always those things go together. When we describe nations in such fashions we can easily group together nations like Saudia Arabia, North Korea and the Sudan, despite great geo-graphic differences. Barnett believes that because of their situations, those nations in the Gap are breeding grounds for terrorists and dictators who will threaten the security of not only the Gap, but the Core as well. Saddam Hussein, Ossama Bin Laden and Kim Jong-il are three examples of figures who arose in the Gap and have used the conditions there to threaten both Core and Gap. The solution to this problem is not to simply the "kill the terrorists wherever you find them", because in the end terrorists will keep on appearing, and will do so at a pace faster than you kill them, until you eventually have to put into effect Wretchard's Three Conjectures Scenario. The solution is to shrink the Gap. Since the Gap is the primary breeding ground of terrorists, by shrinking the Gap you reduce the amount of terrorists generated. Eventually, by eleminating the Gap completely, you dry up the source, and the threat to the Gore will cease to be.

    The problem with the Gap is that it lacks basic infrastructure, and inter-connectedness to the rest of the world. North Korea is the perfect example of a Gap nation. It is the most isolated nation in the world, with literally no contact between its people and the rest of the globe, save by a handful of party elite. This isolation contributes to ignorance, and helps enable despots to gain control of large populations and bend them to their will. Hence, you have a deifed Kim Jong-il. To reduce, to shrink, the Gap, you need to build infrastructre and connectivity within nations in the Gap, while at the same time providing for stability. This includes economic aid, security assisstance, as well supporting globalization abroad. A map of the Gap, which I am unable to find at the moment, is a map of the least globalized nations in the world. Spreading Globalization is a key method of shrinking the Gap. South Korea is an example of a nation that is in the Core now, but was in the Gap not too long ago. Its connectivity is one reason among many why it is in the Core. So by spreading globalization you help reduce the Gap.

    Iraq is a central pillar in the US strategy to shrink the Gap, which I will explain in the next installment of this series.

    On to Part 2...


    John Kerry doesn't want to be President

    I say this because anyone who wanted to be President wouldn't say something as absurdly stupid and dangerous as what Drudge is reporting him to say. The link is through Drudge, whom I usually don't consider a highly accurate source. However, because the link ends with Yahoo I trust it is relatively accurate.

    We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance
    That is something a man serious about fighting the war on terror wouldn't say. Hence, John Kerry doesn't want to be President. Perhaps he no longer thinks he has a chance, and is merely trying to preserve his liberal credentials for later, or perhaps he secretly can't convince himself to face the demands of the 21st century.


    Welcome Dean's World readers. (Warning, shameless plug coming) Be sure and check out some of my work, which I admit has been rather shoddy as of late, thanks to a busy workschedule.


    Friday, October 08, 2004

    Debate 2

    Bush seemed much stronger this time. This format played to his strengths. I give him the edge this time, and I also think that Kerry set himself up, hard, for some attack adds by the GOP later.


    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    Much Apologies

    I have been sidetracked lately, and my blogging has suffered for it. I have no real good excuse to offer, so as token sacrifices I offer some good links to atone for my blogsins.

    Juliette had a dream about blogging. I can't relate, although I figure it is only a matter of time.

    Gerard Vanderleun wonders how far Bushatred will end up going, and assumes the worst. I chime in a little.

    Lucas Sayre wonders why he is being contacted to help work for the GOP in Ohio... when he is in Indiana.

    Colt becomes yet another cog in the corporate machine....

    And of course the Belmont Club is as good as always...

    More links later if this proves insufficient...


    Saturday, October 02, 2004


    One of the things noticed during the debate was that Bush looked slightly distracted. Afterward it was mentioned that time spent with the victims of Florida's hurricanes. However, Wretchard's analysis of the recent actions in Samarra seem to indicate that it was Iraq, not Florida, that occupied the President's attention. As well it should, considering the importance of the events in Samarra. Iraq will never be free if an Iraq army can't be formed to do the job of holding the country together and fighting off those who would seek to keep democracy out of the country.

    Listed on BlogShares Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com